Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gratitude -- and Beyond

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I am grateful today, now more than ever, that I gave up my political blog more than two months ago. I used to be so caught up in the day to day insanity that passes as politics in this country. I was bitterly partisan.

Today, I saw a little bit of news with various political figures posturing for a national audience. These men and women were elected to represent our interests in the national government, but all they care about is themselves. If you think I am being harsh, listen to them speak, try to find anything that feels like that senator or representative is truly speaking for your interests.

I was able to listen for a few moments without becoming attached, and what I felt was sadness. I used to believe that politics could make a difference. I used to believe that, even with its flaws, America was a great nation. I used to believe that if we could just elect the right people, we could turn this thing around.

I was a fool.

Rather than pass a minimum wage so that the poorest among us might have a better life, they would rather ban the right to burn a flag. Rather than creating national health care so that everyone can have adequate medical assistance when needed, they would rather try to keep loving couples from being married. Rather than paying our teachers a fair wage so that we may attract the best and the brightest to educate our children, they would rather spend billions and billions of dollars on new ways to blow things up. The list could go on for days.

I used to think it was all the fault of the Republicans, but the Democrats are just as bad -- and in some ways worse.

When was the last time you heard a politician speak as though s/he knew what it was like to walk in your shoes? When was the last time that a politician was willing to stand within the view of another and let it break through the wall of ego? When was the last time a politician spoke to what is best within us and acted with that intention?

I am grateful that I am no longer attached to politics because I am free to envision a politican who is worthy of my vote, rather than settling for whatever spineless weasel pretending to be progressive who has a chance of defeating the racist homophobe that passes himself off as a Christian.

I am grateful that my new criteria for a politician are compassion and empathy, not the right to choose and campaign finance reform. Arizona may be beachfront property before that person appears, but that is what I am holding out for.

I won't stop voting -- I'm not stupid. But I'll never actively support a candidate who does not meet my standards.

I dream of someday seeing that candidate. A candidate who is inspired and who will inspire the best in all of us.

Okay, I'm putting the soapbox away.

I'm also grateful that Kira watched Remember the Titans with me today and liked it as much as I do.

What are you grateful for?

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